Australian online bookstore, Booktopia has joined forces with Grant Thornton to create a better experience for its customers and people through the development and deployment of a technologically advanced Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) featuring a new automated robotics system, located in South Strathfield in Sydney.

Booktopia offers over six million books from its extensive library with thousands in stock at any time across more than 2,000 individual product categories.

In recent years, Booktopia has seen unprecedented growth in demand and reached its capacity at previous sites, using over 1.6km of conveyor belts to move books around at each site in Sydney.

Upon review of its supply chain, Grant Thornton recommended a solution including an overhaul of the company’s distribution centres, consolidating two sites into one and designing the new CFC which could leverage the latest in technology and automation.

Grant Thornton’s retail management consulting team helped design, program and monitor the custom-built CFC fitted with autonomous mobile robots from Locus Robotics to work alongside Booktopia’s team to improve product flow and pack books faster and more accurately.

Grant Thornton also supported Booktopia in procuring, managing, and sourcing a new warehouse management system, new infrastructure, packaging automation and conveyors. The CFC now has a one-way flow of books from receiving to dispatch, improving productivity and reducing manual handling. The flexible design allows ample space for future growth.

Booktopia CEO, David Nenke said, “The goal of this project was to bring Booktopia into a new era using the latest in automation and robotics to provide a better experience for our customers and our people. We are grateful for the support and guidance of Grant Thornton throughout this journey.

“Their retail management consulting team completely understood the importance of aligning the solution and design of our new CFC with our business strategy and customer needs. They have been a great partner for us and have helped us achieve our vision of becoming a world-class online book retailer.”

Grant Thornton partner of management consulting, Richard Bycroft added, “We are proud of our work with Booktopia on this project. It was a challenging but rewarding experience that showcased our capabilities in supply chain transformation, technology implementation, and change management.

“As project managers we believe it’s crucial to roll up our sleeves and we have worked closely with the Booktopia team on the ground to make sure their new distribution centres functionality was properly tested, worked as scoped, had effective material flows designed around it, Standard Operating Procedures written, and team members were thoroughly trained.

“We are happy to see the early positive signs of the impact of our work on Booktopia’s day-to-day business operations and the benefits that are helping to improve the customer experience. We look forward to continuing our relationship to help Booktopia achieve their future goals.”